English Information

The topographical audio play The Left-Hand Path was developed as a Smartphone app and is available for download free of charge on our project website and from the Apple App Store. We set up The Left-Hand Path in 2011 as a GPS-based audio play at the Old Botanical Gardens in Zurich as part of the „Connect“ exhibition at Shedhalle Zürich and at Graz Stadtpark for the Musikprotokoll programme of the Styrian Autumn festival. Armed with Smartphones, headphones and this app – specially developed for this project – visitors are invited to wander around and explore a designated area, where they will come across various sound clips situated at different locations throughout the landscape.

The concept of the Left-Hand Path stems from Indian mythology and denotes religious and worldly practices opposed to the prevailing homogenous, established beliefs. In the West, the term is used to describe ways of thinking involving opposing views: on the Left-Hand Path, one often finds the devil himself as a travelling companion. Listeners of the GPS-based audio play The Left-Hand Path are led along paths of thought characterized by a fundamental opposition of the state of affairs in a „post-everything“ society, a society in which social and ecological progress risks stalling as a result of the establishment of global neo-feudal power structures.

Following the economic and terrorist crises of recent years, conservative thinking seems to be reinstating itself around the world: Right-wing politics and the associated exclusionary attitudes that characterize the wealth gap, be it on the basis of national or ethnic identity or religious belief, are becoming acceptable once again. A renaissance of conservative and religious promises of salvation is drowning out rational discussions on how we wish to lead our lives and how society should evolve in both the West and the East, in rural and in urban areas. Today, we live in a society dominated by monetary relationships and ridden with myths to the point of becoming a veritable jungle; a society in which power, money and faith are intertwined – (post-)post-modern, global capitalism has become the vast motley painting of everything that has ever been believed painted by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari.

The question as to what today‘s enlightenment processes should look like – referring to the processes for raising awareness in society with a view to exposing and dismantling the existing power structures – requires an urgent answer. The Left-Hand Path system is associated with a diabolic figure, which manifests itself as enlightenment in its purest form, as an antagonist, as a rebel and as symbol of polemic and failure, urging listeners, in specific terms, quite simply to challenge the established ways of thinking, as Kant put it in his maxim Sapere aude! Have courage to use your own reason! On the Left-Hand Path, several fundamental enlightenment-seeking questions arise: What society do we live in? Are we content with our current way of life? How can we determine our own destiny? In the audio play, these questions are posed by individuals characterised by having an oppositional attitude towards their environment: artists, radicals, intellectuals, sectarian gurus, alcoholics, the exploited and supporters of an alternative society. The Left-Hand Path is like a maze: a broad range of views are expressed, but which lines of thought lead out of dead ends? Can listeners find their way out of this maze of thought?

Production: ORF Kunstradio and Musikprotokoll im Steirischen Herbst Graz, Austria
Editor: Elisabeth Zimmermann
Directors Musikprotokoll im Steirischen Herbst Graz:
Susanna Niedermayr, Frank Zimmer

Supported by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, Sitemapping of the Swiss Federal Office of Culture, SRF Swiss Radio and Television, Ethnographic Museum of the University of Zurich. Project Partners: HTC (Smartphones) and Holding Graz Schlossberglift-Service.

© 2021 Der Pfad zur linken Hand Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha